Via the Marmot (here and here), the Korean government Truth Commission on Forced Mobilization under the Japanese Imperialism has cleared 83 of 148 Koreans convicted by the Allies of war crimes during World War II. On what grounds? Turns out the Koreans were victims of Japanese imperialism, suffering the “double pain”Â? of forced mobilization _and_ becoming a war criminal.
In essence, _all_ those reviewed by the commission were cleared. Only 86 names were looked at by the commission; a judgment on the other three will follow investigations by local government bodies. Of the 148 Koreans convicted of war crimes, 23 were executed.
The irony here is obvious. Korea has just confirmed what what Japanese rightists have been saying all along: that the Tokyo Trials were a sham. The difference is that Japan recognizes the outcome without question, reaffirmed by treaty. But perhaps they should follow Korea’s example? At the very least, Korea is undermining the credibility of the trials for future politicians who may decide to challenge their validity.
Journalist Mike Breen has this to say:
By what authority does the Truth Commission have to remove their individual responsibility with its class act defense of nationality? Such skewed morality led to the crimes against the lowest class “prisoners”Â? in the first place. People who committed crimes against humanity are not innocent by virtue of being Korean any more than Japanese who brutalized Koreans are innocent by virtue of being Japanese.
I’ve written on numerous occasions that Korea’s take on history is warped, regarding both Japanese colonial and the US presence since the Korean War. Welcome to yet another exhibit.